September 28, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Geek Review: What We Do In The Shadows

A group of vampires share a flat in Wellington, New Zealand in this mock-documentary.

Normally, this is the timeslot I use to review a new movie, but the movie I wanted to see, Colossal, is apparently not playing near me until next weekend, competing with both The Fate of the Furious and seeing family for Easter.  And there was no way in hell I was going to pay to see a Smurfs movie.

So, instead, let’s go with this gem I found on Amazon Prime, What We Do in the Shadows.

The premise to this movie is simple:  a quartet of vampires are living in modern day Wellington, New Zealand.  They include incurable romantic Viago (played by co-writer/director Taika Waititi), onetime tyrant Vladislav (co-writer Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Concords and more recently Legion), wannabe cool guy Deacon, and the ancient Nosferatu lookalike Petyr.  The annual “Unholy Masquerade” is coming up soon, and while Petyr just does his own thing in the basement, the other three squabble over chores, look for humans to drain, and generally go about their daily lives while a documentary film crew records everything that happens.

Things take a turn when intended meal Nick becomes a new vampire.  Nick needs training, like being told not to advertise his undead status since that guy in the bar might not be kidding about being a vampire hunter, but it gets a bit worse when Nick brings his best friend Stu to meet the vampires, and for some reason, they really like Stu.  He’s not for eating.  He updates their technology and seems amicable enough, but part of the joke must be how Stu really doesn’t do much of anything.

Waititi directed a fine movie, and he showed he wasn’t a one-hit wonder with last year’s The Hunt for the Wilderpeople (and soon, hopefully, with Thor: Ragnarok).  The scene where Nick, still human, is trying to escape the vampire house is actually incredibly well put-together, full of comedic horror moments and outrageous slapstick.  In fact, the physical comedy in this movie is pretty creative and makes for a fun time for fans of comedy or vampires.  Eight and a half vampire ex-girlfriends out of ten.

And hey, before this went live, Marvel Films dropped the first Ragnarok teaser.  Looks like Waititi got to keep his mojo flowing so far.  See for yourself.